Welcome back to Father Frank’s Log. The month of July was relatively quiet, as is usually the case. This past week I enjoyed a few relaxing, prayerful days in Schoenstatt. I stayed in St. Joseph’s Cabin, self-catering, and availed of the many beautiful walks in Campsie Glen; on the Thomas Muir Way, and along the old Strathkelvin Railway line. I found a trail I hadn’t walked before, up to the Allanhead Waterfall. It was called the Eritrean Martyrs Woodland Trail, created by the Eritrean Community in Scotland to commemorate those who had died in the fight for independence. I also spent many fruitful hours in the beautiful little chapel.
Early in the month I had to bring some papers down to the Archdiocesan Offices in Clyde Street. After I handed them in, I went into the cathedral to say a few prayers. While I was there a lady approached me and asked me if I knew where she might find a priest to sign a Mass card which she had just purchased in the repository. I told her I was a priest and that I would be happy to sign her card, and I produced my credentials so as to verify it. She then decided to phone her pal to ask if she had managed to get a Mass card. The friend hadn’t, so she bought another card for her friend and got me to sign that as well. Before I got on my way, I was approached by two other people to ask if there were any Confessions available, so I ended up finding a quiet spot and hearing a couple of Confessions as well. Maybe the Archbishop will give me a job!
Later in the month I went for a Shingles vaccination. I received a letter asking me to go to the Glasgow Central Mosque at 7pm of a weekday evening. I had never set foot in the mosque before. My first inclination was to leave the car at St. Mungo’s and walk down, as I don’t like bringing the car into the city. However, I was a bit short for time and so I drove down. When I got there, I got confused because of road works and a mesmerising number of traffic cones. I followed signs that instructed me to drive on a cycle lane, and I ended up in a car park nearly as far away as St. Mungo’s would have been. I put money in a meter and traced my steps back. Not knowing any better, I went in by the main entrance to the mosque, looking around to see if there were any signs telling me where to go for the vaccination. I then found myself by the prayer room, which was very beautiful, and a very kindly gentleman came by whom I was able to show my letter to, and ask if he knew where I was to go. He asked firstly if I would take my shoes off, which I was happy to do, and he walked with me to the office. I discovered where I was to go, and so I went back to retrieve my shoes and made my way across a courtyard to the Vaccination Centre, where I received my jab, and just about made it back to the car before my meter money ran out.
A few days later I travelled to Dublin for meetings. This was my first time on an aeroplane since January 2020. The airport, both in Glasgow and Dublin, was jam packed, as were the planes themselves. It was a bit scary, if truth be told, but thankfully all went smoothly enough and I seem to be none the worse for the experience. At this time, we are preparing for Father Antony’s departure from Bishopbriggs. He will leave us on the 23rd of August, and he is busy packing up, and clearing out his room. We hope to announce a replacement soon. Brother Conor has been with us for these past few weeks, enjoying time to read and pray, and to see a bit of Glasgow. He will return to Northern Ireland soon to prepare for his Final Profession which will take place in Holy Cross, Ardoyne on 14th August. Father John continues to settle and, apart from his ministry, he regularly plays badminton, 7-a-side football, and now wants to learn to swim. Father Justinian continues to defy the years and is doing well. He hopes to travel with Father Antony to attend Brother Conor’s Final Profession.
So, as always, protect yourselves, protect your loved ones, and protect Christ in your lives.